Neighborhood watch groups proved effective in Pasco

PASCO, Wash. -- Jennifer Johnson came to Pasco from Boise. She was moved to the west side of town looking for a safe place to raise her family. But two years ago, her neighbor caught a burglar inside her own house near Sandifur.

She says, "It was just a really eye-opening experience. We were kinda like, I guess it's not as safe as we thought it was gonna be around here."

Theft and burglary are the most-common crimes in a neighborhood like Jennifer's. It's why this mom and her neighbors started a neighborhood watch.

"Theft, burglary, destruction of property, those types of things will be drastically reduced with an organized neighborhood watch," Officer Davis explains.

There's about two dozen neighborhood watch groups in Pasco. Police tell Action News it's cutting down crime one street at a time.

"You can check by the numbers. We see a drastic decrease in crime rate," He continues.

On average in the Tri-Cities, a neighborhood with an active block watch decreases crime by half within two years. Some neighborhoods have depleted crime all together.

"Neighbors are looking out for each other and report suspicious activity to police. And that's how we find burglars," Davis tells KEPR.

The burglar in Jennifer's neighborhood was caught, and she does feel safer since starting the watch group. But she's still always aware of what's going on, around Camano Drive.

Jennifer sighs, "Our neighborhood still has problems, for sure. That's just this area, but I know our street have improved."

And it's all worth it to have to safe place she wanted to raise her family.

"I feel my street is safer for my children. I don't have to worry about them running outside and playing," She smiles.

Police in every community are always looking to start more block watch groups. They can be implemented in apartment complexes, rentals or homes.